The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Great deals, long lines

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of bargain shopping that marks the beginning of the holiday season. This year, shoppers and retail associates are preparing for the hectic day of mobs of people and long lines.

Hundreds of people line up outside the doors, eager to raid the mall in search of holiday bargains. Waiting, shoppers mentally plan out their strategy — which stores to hit first, their budget and Christmas gifts that need to be checked off lists.

Coined as Black Friday in the 1960s, the day after Thanksgiving has become a day of nationwide holiday bargain shopping. According to, this day of madness not only marks the beginning of the holiday season, but it represents the turning point of companies from “in the red” to “in the black,” or making a profit.

Art by Ashber

“Once you get out there, it’s insane. There are people that run and people that grab things from each other. But it always marks the beginning of the holiday season for me; it’s fun,” social studies teacher Sarah Dent said.

This year, Black Friday is Nov. 27, but shoppers and retail employees are already planning for the big day.

Retail Perspective

Stores spend time before the big day planning, ordering and putting items on shelves.

“We usually have a holiday meeting weeks beforehand to plan sales and anticipate the number of people,” Forever 21 associate Keenya Williams, said.

According to a manager at the GAP, the store receives new holiday inventory and displays just for Black Friday.

“We always have boxes in the back for weeks before, and we have to get it all out on the floor,” Williams said.

On Thanksgiving day, many stores advertise their best deals and opening times for the next day.

Because Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, most people have the day off work. But it’s another story for people working in retail. Retail employees have to be at their stores before opening time, usually between four and six in the morning.

In order to get through the day in one piece, stores have to prepare in ways beyond putting out loads of shipment. Stores hire dozens of seasonal associates to help manage the extra holiday crowds.

According to American Eagle manager Christina, shoppers buy more on Black Friday, so stores have to handle more business, which requires more employees.

While Williams said the boxes pile up for a long while before Black Friday, by the end of the day the racks are empty.

Although preparation begins early, specifics aren’t delivered to individual stores until the last minute, making Black Friday even crazier.

Thousands of people around the nation drag themselves out of bed to hunt for deals on Black Friday, and retail associates work through the craziness that ensues from this mass shopping extravaganza.

Occasionally, shoppers are in such a hurry they get hurt. According to a Journeys manager, a woman bent down to pick something up and came up so fast that she hit her head on the counter and passed out and had to be taken to the hospital.

“It is just a crazy day; everyone is everywhere, and you can hear sensors falling to the ground,” Wet Seal manager Bre said. “You work your hardest to try to reach upwards of $10,000 and make the day successful.”

Shopper Perspective

On Black Friday, Dent goes shopping with her aunts, sisters and mom.

“Its a real family tradition for us,” Dent said.

On Thanksgiving Day, while some of her family watches football, Dent passes around the ads. She figures out what stores have what items and when they open. Then she maps out the route.

“We’ve got it down to quite a science,” Dent said.

Dent has her plans formulated to go as smoothly as possible. Occasionally, they work out even better than she planned
One year, her husband wanted an Xbox for Christmas. Dent saw that Circuit City had one for a great price. So she headed out there early in the morning to see if she could get her hands on one. She pulled up to the store right as they were opening the doors. Without realizing there was a line of nearly 250 people circling the store, she walked right in the front doors, picked up what she needed, paid and left.

“I was in line and paid within two minutes of getting in the store after I cut the 250 people in line,” Dent said. “It was mortifying, yet very satisfying that I actually got what I came for.”

While most people go out on Black Friday for the bargains they can get, senior Sarah Sexton braves Black Friday for nothing more than the experience.

“It’s a different experience. It’s really energetic. I never go to actually buy anything; I just go for the experience. The people watching is fun. People go completely crazy over sales and stuff. It’s really funny,” Sexton said.

Toys “R” Us is Sexton’s favorite place to people watch on Black Friday.

“Toys “R” Us is super fun because that seems to be where people go the craziest,” Sexton said.

Sexton not only enjoys the excitement of early morning shopping, but also the tempers of the other shoppers.

“If you’ve ever waited in line on Black Friday, people just get really mad. Like really, really testy, and it’s really funny,” Sexton said.

“I’ve run in front of slow people just to grab something I know they want and then I walk around with it and put it down somewhere,” Sexton said. “People get really mad.”

Opening times:

  • Target: 5:00 am
  • Sears: 4:00 am
  • Kmart: 6:00 am
  • Walmart: 12:00 am
  • Macys: 5 am.
  • Best Buy: 5:00 am
  • Kohls: 4:00 am
  • Toys “r” us: 12:00 am

-Rachel Alvey and Maria Davison

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All SMNW Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Great deals, long lines